Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Toyota Prius drops solar panel idea

AutoWeek included the text:

“Even if you laid solar panels out on the entire roof of a house, you only generate enough energy to run two hair dryers,” the official said. “It’s an interesting idea, but it would be very difficult to power a whole car, even with technological advances.”

So all you “I’m not an engineer” types out there can consider that question answered, at least until someone comes up with some huge breakthrough in solar-power collection technology.

There was a comment:

Someone call Bob and the Japanese energy official because I have solar panels on my roof and they power a whole helluva lot more than two hair dyers (90% of my house in fact) I must have some super advanced solar panels that know one knows about!

Within a further comment:

According to the United States Government Energy Information Administration (EIA) here is the breakdown of the National Electric Power Generation by Energy Source for US in 2006:

Coal 36.72%
Nuclear 28.74%
Natural Gas 26.68%
Hydroelectric 1.94%

From an article by MATTHEW L. WALD on solar energy:

The power they produce is still relatively expensive. Industry experts say the plant here produces power at a cost per kilowatt- hour of 15 to 20 cents. With a little more experience and some economies of scale, that could fall to about 10 cents, according to a recent report by Emerging Energy Research, a consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass. Newly built coal-fired plants are expected to produce power at about 7 cents per kilowatt-hour or more if carbon is taxed.

A comment at mb-soft:

The off-power-grid people expect to use their $5,000 photovoltaic setup to run all kinds of appliances and lights and the JUCA blower. However, that $5,000 electricity creation system, on a nicely sunny day, could create only around 350 watt-hours of electricity, enough electricity to run ONLY the JUCA blower for around half an hour that day/evening! So there would not even be enough electricity to run one device (the blower) through the night! If they could absolutely count on perfectly clear days, around $50,000 of photovoltaic equipment would be able to collect create around 3500 watt-hours of electricity, enough to keep the blower running for five hours of the evening. For Chicago, with its 35% clear skies, around $150,000 of photovoltaic equipment would be necessary JUST to run the blower for a few hours on the $1,400 woodstove! Seems pretty expensive, huh?


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